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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Romance the Past in Bogotá


3. What to Do

Inside Museo Botero, left, and the square in La Candelaria, right.  

Bogotá’s shopping scene is where Andean craftsmanship meets innovation and affordability. Start at Revérsika (Atlantis Plaza, Shop 308; 571-531-0770), where reversible street-skater-style clothing gives you two outfits for the price of one. At nearby Deimos Arte, hunt for intricately wrought treasures like woven-leather baskets and carved wooden trays at reasonable prices. Also within walking distance is Silvia Tcherassi’s flagship boutique—her couture-worthy, body-hugging creations look even better with the favorable exchange rate.

Find haven from Bogotá’s daily rains in the city’s cluster of museums. Begin at the eponymous colonial-era house of native son Fernando Botero , where over 100 of his abstract works hang alongside Dalís, Renoirs, and Picassos. The nearby National Museum was once the site of the Panóptico prison and now displays Colombian artifacts in the converted jail cells. Be dazzled at the Museo del Oro (Calle16 No. 5-41, Parque de Santander; 571-343-2221), reopened in 2008 after a decade spent in renovation, and its 6,500-piece collection of gold masks, crowns, and ceremonial vessels dating back more than 2,000 years.

Take in Bogotá’s eclectic architecture with a late-day amble around La Candelaria, the city’s original colonial center. The newly chic quarter abounds with sixteenth-century terracotta-tiled homes and baroque churches; wander amid the imperial Spanish splendor before stopping for a caffeine perk at the Juan Valdez Café. The ground-floor coffee shop is located inside the Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márqueza mainstay of contemporary Colombian architecture.

Published on Jun 4, 2009 as a web exclusive.

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